Parental Responsibility and Unattended Child Policy

Carpenter Memorial Library                                                                      Parental Responsibility and Unattended Child Policy

Parental Responsibility

  • A parent or caregiver should accompany any child under the age of 10 to the library and supervise them during their visit.
  • The library provides staff to help children and their caregivers use the library and its materials, but not to watch, supervise or entertain individuals or groups.
  • Parents are responsible for the behavior of their children in the library, even if the parent is not present.
  • The library staff does not serve in loco parentis. It is the parent(s)/guardian(s) and only the parent(s)/guardian(s) who may restrict their children’s access to library materials.  In addition, library staff is not responsible for determining whether materials used by children and teens are “age appropriate.”  It is the responsibility of the parents/guardians to monitor their children’s and teens’ use of library resources and to determine whether to place restrictions.
  • Parents/guardians are financially responsible for library materials their children check out, including items that are lost, damaged, or unreturned.

Unattended Child

  • An “unattended child” is any child under the age of 10 who is not with a parent or caregiver or whose parent or caregiver cannot be readily located in the library. Staff will attempt to find or contact the child’s parent or caregiver, if no one can be reached, library staff may call the police for assistance.
  • If an unattended child is being disruptive, that child may be asked to leave the library. 
  • Staff will not be responsible if unattended children of any age leave the library premises alone or with other persons.

Disruptive Child

  • Children in the library are expected to observe the posted “Code of Conduct.”
  • If a child is not following these rules or their behavior is inappropriate or is disruptive to other library customers or staff, staff will attempt to locate the parent or caregiver, inform them of the child’s behavior and expect them to supervise the child for the remainder of their visit or remove the child from the library.

Closing Time

  • In general, parents of any minor children, should not leave them unattended at the library.  This is especially important in the evenings or near closing time.
  • An unattended child (over the age of 10) may use the library’s phone to call home for a ride.
  • If a child is not picked up by 10 minutes after closing time, police will be notified.
  • Under no circumstances will library staff transport or escort a child home or to any other destination.

Adopted by Library Board 10/17/2023


Made possible with funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Washington State Library, Office of the Secretary of State.